It is common that breakups can stir up a lot within us. The loss of a major relationship in our life can cause us to think about different aspects of ourselves, how we relate to others, how we cope and what we may or may not be missing in our life. Because breakups can cause this kind of reflection and introspection, it can be useful to have resources to help navigate these thoughts that may be coming up. Below are six book recommendations along with why we think that they could be especially beneficial after a breakup.
1. Attached by Amir Levine
This book is a great education tool and talks extensively about attachment styles and the ways in which we relate to others (specifically romantic partners). This book can be helpful in understanding why certain matchups can be more difficult than others and can be a tool to deepen understanding of yourself and your needs (and how you express or do not express them) in relationships. If you are wrestling with certain patterns that seemed to keep occurring in your past relationship, this book may help gain some insight into why.
2. Rising Strong by Brené Brown
If you have not heard of Brené Brown- you should look into her books and her work. She is a therapist and has extensively studied shame and vulnerability- two very important topics when it comes to relationships. In Rising Strong, she speaks about what it feels like to get up and be brave after we fall down, and helps the reader identify the stories we tell ourselves that keep us down. This book provides strength and hope to anyone going through a tough time and trying to stand back up and move forward.
3. Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff
This book is an absolute must read for anyone- but can be especially helpful if you are being very hard on yourself due to a recent breakup. Dr. Neff talks about the three different components that make up self-compassion, and includes endless exercises to help practice showing ourselves grace and love. Breakups can often kick up guilt, shame and other tough feelings that can cause us to be hard on ourselves, and this book helps the reader work on and become aware of the ways in which we talk to and treat ourselves.
4. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
Pema Chödrön is a Buddhist nun who has written several best-selling books. In this book, When Things Fall Apart, she provides spiritual insight to help clients navigate tough feelings- especially the ones that come up when things do not go as planned in our lives. This book is divided up into short chapters that are all labeled so you can skip around and come back to certain ones that resonate with what you are specifically going through. When Things Fall Apart is a great book to have in your back pocket and something to quickly come back to if you need words of affirmation or some loving guidance.
5. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist that writes about her work with clients as well as her relationship with her own therapist following a breakup. This book is a fascinating sneak peek into the healing that happens through therapy and the relationships that impact our lives. As you follow Lori in her sessions with clients working through relationship struggles, while she works through her own loss, you learn about the intricacies of interpersonal relationships as well as the significance of your relationship with yourself. We also appreciate that this book normalizes the experience of therapy by shining light on the process and revealing the warmth, care and fun that exists in the therapy room.
6. BreakUp and BreakOut by Rachel Thomasian and Valentina Setteducate
We wanted to write a book that could really support anyone going through a breakup. Our book is meant to help provide education around why breakups are so hard, give exercises to help deepen understanding and help the reader engage in a way that helps them connect more to themselves and get to a place of healing, closure and connection that they create from within.